SAP® Extended Warehouse Management in SAP S/4HANA 2022 – What’s New
We are once again in the final quarter of the year, which means that it is time to share with you the latest updates to SAP EWM that came with the SAP S/4HANA 2022 release.
This release represents a massive endeavour by our development teams, and I want to thank them for their commitment and efforts to deliver such a feature rich release.
In this year’s release we continued to invest in stronger integration with Quality Management, Manufacturing and Transportation solutions, delivered features tailored for the retail/wholesale/fashion automotive & oil and gas industries, worked on enhancing usability and user experience and much more. In the following article, we will go through the areas of our investments for this release as well as some of the highlights in each area. And we begin with one of our key focus areas of this release, Integration.
Automatic Packing with Unified Package Builder
In the SAP S/4HANA 2021 release we delivered the Unified Package Builder, a generic packaging layer that allows the creation of packages via different unified package building engines, such as: Package building with the package builder; Packing Instruction; Packaging specification.
In this year’s release, we provide warehouse operators the ability to use unified package building in even more processes to automatically pack unpacked delivery items in the “Change Inbound Deliveries” apps and in the “Unloading” and “Receiving Handling Units” Radio Frequency (RF) transactions.
An example use case for this feature is the scenario when a vendor sends an inbound delivery that does not contain any packing information about the handling units (HUs). Users can then specify that the system automatically packs any unpacked delivery items by using one of the package building engines available in the UPB.
Customer Defined Picking and Packing
In some industries, it is quite common for finished goods to be packaged according to customer specifications. However, it was not possible to specify customer specific packing for outbound deliveries. With the SAP S/4HANA 2022 release we can now ensure that during customer-defined packing and picking, only those handling units are picked that were created with a reference to a specific sales scheduling agreement and according to a specific packing instruction (PI) or packaging specification (PS). Accordingly, it is also now possible to protect the required HUs from any changes. This process can be activated by a new indicator in the SD scheduling.
Quality Management Enhancements
As with every major release, we continue to improve integration with Quality Management functionalities. In SAP S/4HANA 2022, we deliver the following enhancements:
- Quality Inspections for Synchronous Goods Receipt Postings
With this feature, customers with QM requirements can now directly post synchronous goods receipts from other parts of SAP S/4HANA into Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) for goods procured externally or goods from in-house production. The system creates an inspection lot in any ERP transactions where a goods receipt can be posted for a product that’s inspection-relevant, for example, in the “Post Goods Movements” app. Inspection lot summary, skip lots and cancellations are supported as well. Note that this feature is available only for EWM embedded in SAP S/4HANA.
- for Goods Receipt
For compliance purposes, users can now capture the existence of external quality certificates when receiving goods procured from suppliers. The system ensures the receipt of the quality certificate before it is possible to record a usage decision. The existence of these certificates can then be passed via an inbound delivery to SAP ERP QM inspection lot.
- Skipping of Quality Inspections in Decentralized SAP EWM
Also in this release, we made it possible to skip quality inspections if the goods don’t need to be inspected because of the current quality level. When skipping inspections, the system still creates inspection documents but posts the goods from quality stock to unrestricted-use stock without performing an inspection. Note that this feature is new for decentralized Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) based on SAP S/4HANA but it’s already available for EWM embedded in SAP S/4HANA.
- Inspection Lot Summary per Delivery Item
Before SAP S/4HANA 2022 the summary of complete inbound delivery was placed into one inspection lot in case of multiple items with the same material/batch combination. With the 2022 release, users of embedded EWM in SAP S/4HANA can switch to have one inspection lot per delivery item via the IMG Activity “Define and Activate Warehouse-Dependent IOTs”.
Advanced Shipping & Receiving Enhancements
Since the SAP S/4HANA 2020 FPS01 release of the new integration between SAP EWM and SAP TM, Advanced Shipping & Receiving, SAP has worked on feature enhancements in every mainline SAP S/4HANA update. The 2022 release is no different, and to that end, for SAP EWM we delivered the following:
- Order Based Planning
We delivered the option of starting the warehouse execution based on a transportation plan. In SAP EWM, an outbound delivery order is created from the LE outbound delivery.
Once the warehouse process is done, HUs are created and the Ready for Shipping status is set Transportation Management is updated with information about the packed HUs (used for planning in TM). The system also updates the LE outbound delivery. After the truck is loaded, users can the post Goods Issue. In SAP EWM users can now display and select by Freight Order in various apps such as the “Warehouse Monitor” or the “Run Outbound Process” App.
- Process Customer Returns
With this feature, you can process customer returns in Advanced Shipping & Receiving. Users can now post Goods Receipt directly to a warehouse managed storage location upon returns delivery. The following follow-up activities are possible:
- Scrapping goods
- Putting them away
- Sending the goods back to the supplier, to another plant or the customer
- Posting from non-valuated stock to valuated stock for refunds
Work-In-Process (WIP) Management
With this feature, warehouse operators can store unfinished items in the warehouse that are in the middle of the manufacturing process until they’re requested for a follow-on manufacturing operation. As these intermediate products will never be sold as spare parts or semifinished products, they don’t have a dedicated product master. Therefore we can use WIP material to prevent the number of products to explode.
In a manufacturing plant, due to planned or unplanned delays between manufacturing operations, output of the previous operation can’t be provided for the next operation immediately. Therefore, it’s necessary to store WIP stock in a warehouse for a period of time, for example, to save space in a production line.
A WIP product is different from semi-finished goods in the following aspects:
- A WIP product isn’t a part of the bill of materials (BOM).
- A WIP product doesn’t have a valuation.
- WIP stock doesn’t need to be monitored and tracked in the Inventory application component.
SAP EWM supports WIP management for both the receiving and staging processes. For receiving, it is now possible to:
- Create an Inbound Delivery for WIP stock
- Determine WIP Product number during ID creation
- Store WIP number on WIP stock
- Synchronize receiving status to MES
While for staging users can do the following:
- Create Warehouse Request for WIP Staging
- Determine WIP Product during warehouse request creation
- Send out Stock Change Notification to MES upon staging is confirmed to PSA
With this feature, you can supply components to production supply areas (PSAs) after a manufacturing execution system (MES) replans the manufacturing activities by reallocating operations to different production resources.
The way this process works, once the Manufacturing Order is created in S/4HANA, a Production Material Request (PMR) is created on the SAP EWM side (where PSA1 and PSA Bin 1 are determined). However, before staging is planned, MES replans the manufacturing operations to a different production resource (or work centre). MES creates a staging request to a new PSA and EWM creates a warehouse request to a new PSA bin (where PSA 2 and PSA Bin 2 are determined). EWM then confirms the staging to the new PSA and sends out a Stock Change Notification to MES, which in turn synchronizes the PSA stock. MES then proceeds to consume stock from PSA 2 during the manufacturing process, and triggers EWM to post consumption of stock from PSA Bin 2. EWM sends out Stock Change Notification to MES. The following graphic shows the overall process for dynamic staging, using SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud (DMC) as an example of the MES.
Automatic Warehouse Task Creation to Next PSA
With this feature, users can receive a semifinished product from manufacturing into Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) embedded in SAP S/4HANA and move it directly to the production supply area (PSA) of the next production line.
After production of a semifinished product in manufacturing, the semifinished product might be used as a component for a subsequent production step in the assembly of the finished product. For this purpose, the semifinished products need to be moved to the PSA of the next production line for further use.
If direct goods movements from production to Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) are used, the system can use the information in the Target PSA field of the production version to determine the destination bin during automatic warehouse task creation. Please note that this feature is for embedded EWM only in synchronous goods movements.
INDUSTRY SPECIFIC TOPICS
In this section we present some of the key functions we delivered for the retail & distribution, aerospace, automotive and oil & gas industries. While these enhancements come from those industries, they are not limited to them, and can be applied in other industry warehouse scenarios.
In this area, we focused on delivering capabilities that would increase wave release flexibility in the warehouse, as well as optimize stock storage and picking decisions.
- Wave Enhancements for Two-Step Picking
In SAP S/4HANA 2022 we have enhanced wave management to allow further efficiency in the two-step picking process and enable more flexibility of wave simulation and wave release. Before this year’s release, users had to configure in the product master to either always pick directly, or to always pick via two-step picking.
Now however, the decision about two-step or single step picking will be taken from wave item perspective, depending on the picking situation. The system evaluates the wave item quantities and decides which items should be combined in two-step picking and which items are better picked directly.
Furthermore, we enabled parallelization of warehouse task creation for withdrawal, made possible to release direct picks together with withdrawal step for two-step items, and accelerated the creation of allocation warehouse tasks for completely withdrawn items.
With this feature, users can segment materials logically based on certain attributes, such as quality or customer segment. When materials that are relevant for segmentation are used, they can be managed in the warehouse for individual stock segments. Segmentation is integrated in different warehouse processes, including the inbound process, outbound process, and returns process.
We also enhanced the following CDS Views with relevant stock segmentation data: inbound; outbound; warehouse task; stock. Also, batches with and without classification are supported.
Automotive & Aerospace
From the automotive and aerospace industries, we delivered the following enhancements:
- Customer Stock
With this feature it is now possible to use customer stock in SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) embedded in SAP S/4HANA (planned for Decentral EWM in SAP S/4HANA 2022 FPS01). Customer stock is unvaluated and belongs to the customer. It is typically used in repair and service maintenance scenarios. Once the repair or maintenance is finished, the product is sent back to the customer.
Repaired or refurbished parts must be received as customer stock into a storage location managed by Inventory Management before it can be transferred to a storage location managed by EWM. Customer stock that has not been repaired or refurbished can be received directly in storage locations managed by EWM.
- KANBAN JIT Calls in Inbound
With this enhancement, it is now possible to process summarized JIT calls in the goods receipt process. Users can handle advanced shipping notifications (ASNs) with several JIT calls per delivery item. The JIT references are updated automatically when the inbound delivery is created. The kanban JIT call data can then be used in the warehouse, for example, for printing custom labels. The quantities in the goods receipt can be changed if required, the kanban process is then updated accordingly.
- Support GTL Label Scanning
We now support VDA4994 standard with special identification of handling units (22 digits). Also, the following EWM transactions have been enhanced to allow the scanning of 22 digits for Handling Units:
- Pack Outbound Deliveries (FIORI)
- Process Warehouse Tasks (FIORI)
- Pick by Cart (FIORI)
Oil & Gas
- Field Logistics
And lastly as an industry functionality highlight I would like to mention that we now support Cross-Docking for Field Logistics in SAP S/4HANA On Premise and Private Cloud. Initially released in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208, Field Logistics refers to the upstream supply for oil & gas platform with goods required for maintenance work. With this release, SAP EWM can now handle 2 Field Logistics supply process variants:
- The requested material is not stock managed in the base warehouse but in the remote plant
- Direct purchasing: The requested material is not stock managed neither in the base warehouse nor in the remote plant
For such supply cases, the received goods in the base warehouse are not putaway for storage but cross-docked or at least staged to a special area we call the HOLD area for consolidating goods for shipment to a remote plant.
Also in this release, we deliver new innovative capabilities that bring warehouses closer to the Industry 4.0 ideal.
- SAP Warehouse Robotics Integration
SAP Warehouse Robotics is a product that is built on the SAP Business Technology Platform. You can use it to automate your warehouse operations using robots, for example, to move handling units (HUs) from source storage bins to destination storage bins. It has an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) agnostic architecture, which offers maximum flexibility and freedom of choice when onboarding new robots.
SAP Extended Warehouse Management now provides the following capabilities for the integration with SAP Warehouse Robotics:
- Allow SAP Warehouse Robotics to read warehouse orders and tasks
- Assign and unassign a resource that is mapped to a robot to or from a warehouse order
- Set warehouse order status to “In Process” when a robot starts processing the warehouse order
- Confirm warehouse tasks and orders when a robot finishes processing the warehouse orders
- Assign a queue to a warehouse order with exceptions
To enable the integration with SAP Warehouse Robotics, users must activate the OData service /SCWM/WAREHOUSE_ROBOTICS.
- Warehouse Zones for Advanced Interleaving
In SAP EWM, the new concept of a warehouse zone is a physical or logical area in a warehouse that groups together storage bins for advanced interleaving. In most cases, a warehouse zone groups storage bins in the same aisle. Users can define one of the storage bins in the warehouse zone as the reference storage bin, which is then used to calculate travel distances between the different warehouse zones. This travel network from a dedicated starting zone to a dedicated destination zone is once calculated and then persisted.
The warehouse zone can be used as an organizational aid for automatic warehouse order (WO) assignment to a resource. The system assigns the next closest WO based on the travel distance between the warehouse zone where the resource is currently located and all the other warehouse zones with open WOs taking into consideration also the priority, latest starting date (LSD) and capabilities.
While it can take a long time to calculate the travel distance between each pair of storage bins in the warehouse, especially when there is a large number of storage bins, using warehouse zones can greatly reduce the calculation time and the WO determination time so that the warehouse worker can be assigned with the closest WO more quickly. Ultimately, the operation efficiency in the warehouse can be improved.
There are a lot more enhancements and features we continue to deliver for SAP EWM, but as this article already is longer than our standard ones, I would like to go over a few other highlights and leave the rest for further exploration in the “What’s New in SAP S/4HANA 2022” document we attach in each release blog posts we publish.
- Synchronous Goods Movements in Post Goods Movement App (MIGO)
With this feature, users can post goods movements for goods receipt, goods issue, and transfer postings that are not related to production or external procurement, in the warehouse directly from the “Post Goods Movement” App in Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) embedded in SAP S/4HANA. Some examples are:
- Goods receipt of items that are not part of a purchase order or production order
- Goods receipt for stock transfers into the warehouse
- Goods issue for unplanned consumption postings with account assignment
- Correct Rounding Residuals
Starting with this release, it is now possible to correct quantity differences of very small amounts (rounding residuals) that occur when quantities are converted between two units of measure. If the components that communicate with SAP EWM round the converted quantities to a different degree of precision, a quantity difference can result. These quantity differences can be corrected from the “Analyze Differences” App. There is also a new rounding rule to keep bins or documents clean from decimal dust, thereby avoiding very small quantities.
- New App to Manage Physical Stock
With the “Manage Physical Stock – Products” App, users can search for and display physical stock in the warehouse, listed by product. Furthermore, the App allows to manage that stock, for example:
- Post unplanned goods issue to consume or scrap stock
- Post goods issue for one stock item or for several stock items at the same time.
- Enter an account assignment and a reason for movement for the goods issue.
- Post unplanned goods issue for products serialized in Inventory Management or at warehouse number level from “Manage Physical Stock – Products”.
FIND OUT MORE!
There are many more features and enhancements that we brought to our solution with the SAP S/4HANA 2022 release, such a more migration objects, more APIs, new Monitor methods, a wide range of continuous improvements, new RF enhancements and so on. I highly encourage you to explore our latest “SAP EWM in SAP S/4HANA 2022 – What’s New” document for a more detailed look into all of our new features and enhancements.
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